Words do matter

August 28, 2020 by Michael Kuttner
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What is said does matter because words have consequences for good and evil.

Michael Kuttner

We of all people should be aware of this because during our long and tortuous history we have been the recipients of some of the most horrendous acts of violence ignited initially by words of hate and incitement. Regardless of whether Jews are Ashkenazi or Sephardi, white, olive, brown or black, all were targeted over the millennia by mobs inflamed with theological and racial rhetoric.

When the full horrors of the Shoah were revealed many thought that finally the demon of Jew-hatred would be exorcised and that Jews would be able to finally live safely and unobtrusively in the countries of their dispersion. The early Zionists fantasized that once Jewish sovereignty was restored we would finally take our equal place amongst the nations and that at long last the scourge of Judeophobia would become a relic of the dim and distant past.

How wrong all these optimists have been proven. Humanity’s longest surviving virus has resurfaced and mutated with a vengeance. True, we now have the ability to fight back with varying degrees of success, but unfortunately, the potential for future catastrophic consequence is now greater than ever since the 1930’s.

A quick survey of latest events starkly reveals not only the incubating poison but also in many cases a lamentable lack of leadership and worrying symptoms of amnesia with respect to the lessons of our recent history.

  • Hamas announced that they had been offered US$15 billion by the US on condition that they disarm. Rejecting this opportunity to improve the lives of Gaza citizens they instead proudly proclaimed their continuing commitment to terror against Israeli civilians. This summer has already seen the resumption of incendiary balloons which have caused destruction and arson in Israeli communities down south. The international community remains lost for words.


  • The PA “peace negotiator” (a misnomer if ever there was one), Saeb Erekat, demanded that UNIFIL take measures to prevent Israel’s “aggressive steps against Moslem and Christian places of worship in occupied Palestine.” He called on the UN to designate the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Moslem holy place to “protect it from Israel’s plans of carrying out reconstruction work there.” In reality what is being constructed is access for handicapped and mobility challenged pilgrims. Similar work is also underway at the Kotel area but in the feverish and twisted minds of the PA these represent a threat to world peace. Having seen how New Zealand’s co-sponsorship of UN Resolution 2334 which delegitimized Israel’s connection to the Temple Mount succeeded the inciters are at it again.


  • The Iranian supreme leader called on Twitter for the genocide of Israel i.e. “the elimination of the Zionist regime”. According to Twitter this is not hate but merely political speech and therefore does not need to be banned.


  • Despite overwhelming evidence of runaway corruption, diversion of aid to pay murderers of Israelis by the PA and continuing hate education in UNRWA textbooks, Joe Biden has announced that he intends to restore funding to the PA and UNRWA as well as reopening the PA “embassy” in Washington. This is more proof that no matter how vile the words and how corrupt those involved may be the Democratic Party intends to reward the perpetrators.


  • The President of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, claimed that “nationalistic trends in Israel are leading to more antisemitism globally.” Presumably the corollary of this profound insight by someone who lives in the rarified atmosphere of the USA is that Israelis should refrain from asserting their claims to Judea, Samaria, the Golan and all of Jerusalem. Apparently there was never any serious Jew hatred prior to Israelis becoming “nationalistic” and the solution one assumes is for Jews to resume their previous low, mute and apologetic profile. If this is indeed the stance of the WJC then it is no wonder that there is a widening gulf between the “machers” in the Diaspora and those of us on the front line of Jewish revival in our historic homeland.


  • Lebanon has been in the news again for all the wrong reasons. As has been pointed out by Israel for quite some time the country has effectively been taken hostage by the Hezbollah terror group. Ammunition and missiles among other volatile products have been stored and embedded in civilian areas. These dumps have deliberately been stored effectively using Lebanese civilians as human hostages in the event that the terrorists launch a war against Israel. Hamas uses the same technique. Despite repeated Israeli revelations and warnings of the dangers involved neither the Lebanese authorities nor the UN were moved to do anything about it. The official explanation is that fertilizer exploded. One has to question why so-called fertilizer would be stored for six years without being utilized for agricultural use. It’s a strange coincidence that this material is also used to manufacture fuel for missiles and other weapons. It is also no secret that Hezbollah has taken over areas of the port to smuggle in weapons from Iran unhindered by any checks or supervision. Finally why has Lebanon rejected an international inquiry into the disaster?


The answers to all the above questions are simple. Hezbollah and its friends want to shift any blame onto the evil Zionists. The Iranians have already alluded to this, Lebanon’s President has hinted about “outside forces” and our internationally touted “peace partners” via their media are propagating this libel. Israel immediately offered aid and its expertise to the Lebanese Government and all our usual starry eyed hallucinatory professionals expected instantaneous gratification and acceptance. Predictably Israel’s offers were ignored and spurned while conspiracy theories sprouted. What our “peaceniks” still do not understand and never will is that generations of Lebanese, Arabs and Moslems have been conditioned to hate and vilify Israelis and Jews. Some have belatedly woken up to the truth but unfortunately the masses from school children to old age pensioners have been thoroughly poisoned.

  • Donald Trump has nominated a new US ambassador to Germany. Incredibly, this nominee is on record as having queried the “sick mentality of Germans atoning for sins of what happened in 13 years of German history.” Is there any rational explanation for nominating someone with such an attitude other than plain stupidity and gross ignorance?


  • It is a fact that reality can often be more bizarre than fiction. This is borne out by a breaking news item last week. The 28 year old captain of Israel’s ice hockey team (yes there is such a group) has signed to join the local team in Oswiecim, otherwise known as Auschwitz. He told a local Israeli newspaper that “he had felt welcomed and was not fearful that hockey fans would hurl antisemitic the taunts the same way as Polish football fans have done. People here in Poland are happy that a Jew from Israel came to play for Auschwitz “he asserted without any shred of evidence to back up his claim. Some may view this as a triumph over hate and others may celebrate it as a long overdue opportunity to whitewash the past. I suspect however that for a majority of Israeli and Diaspora Jews it leaves a bitter taste. Surely an ice hockey team in a town and country not tainted with such horrendous memories would have been a more appropriate choice.


Words indeed do matter because at the end of the day they impact our lives and all the lives of those around us.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

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